14U County Cup Girls 2016
Day 1 – Saturday 30th April
The Channel Island Under 14’s team started their County Cup on Saturday morning at the North Oxford Lawn Tennis Club against Hertfordshire. It was clear from the outset that the Hertfordshire girls were a very strong team. Their girls were much taller and physical than our girls which was used to great effect in their powerful ground strokes on both forehand and backhand. The CI number 1 took on Indianna Spink whose ranking of 3 in GB proved a formidable opponent. Despite a valiant effort Jenny was unable to break onto the score sheet. It was the same story with Molly at number 2 and Ava at Number 4 but Millie did manage to win 2 games off her accomplished opponent at number 3. The CI doubles combination of Jenny and Millie was a new pairing. Despite the girls having never played together before they showed good potential both moving in and supporting each other at the net and the couple of games won were well deserved (6-1 6-1). The other new pairing of Molly and Ava fought hard but made no dent into the Hertfordshire pair (6-0 6-0).
Overall match score was 6-0.
Day 2 -Sunday 1st May
Sunday’s opposition was against the home County of Oxfordshire. Again this was a very strong team whose players rankings were far higher than the CI girls. Jenny, Molly and Millie were starting to adapt to the pace of the ball being sent to them but it was in Ava’s singles match that CI took the most games off an Oxfordshire opponent competing well in her first set losing it closely 6-4. Unfortunately the Oxfordshire number 4 took control of the second set taking it 6-1. With the match lost a change in the doubles pairings was tried out with Jenny partnering Molly and Millie partnering Ava. Despite continued effort on every point and the girls taking on board ideas to try to break their opponents strong game it was only the CI second pair that managed to win any games from the Oxfordshire pairing (6-1 6-2).
Overall match score was 6-0.
Day 3 – Monday 2nd May
Monday’s opponent was Norfolk in a play off for fifth and sixth place. As with the other teams their players had higher rankings than the CI girls. Despite their previous days defeats the girls went into the match determined and positive. Again all the girls put in gutsy performances but still had tough matches. Points were far more competitive against the Norfolk girls and the game scores were not reflective of the closer points and games the girls were now playing. Jenny was coping better with the powerful balls the Norfolk 1 was sending and was trying to minimise their effect by hitting more deep central balls. Millie was able to stay in points far longer playing well on her forehand in particular. Molly hit far more winners in her match applying more pressure to this opponent than previous ones.
Result of the day came from Ava Marsh with a win against the Norfolk number 4. (3-6 6-2 7-5). Ava effectively ran down every ball, absorbed the pace and sent a good length ball back in the court time and time again. Ava stayed calm under pressure while the Norfolk number 4 was showing her frustration at Ava’s consistency and determination. Hot on the heels of the Channel Islands first victory, Ava and Molly took to the court for their doubles match. The girls stormed into the lead taking the first set 6-1. Unfortunately at this point the match was interrupted as the court had to be given back to club members. A delay of half an hour until a court became available gave the Norfolk pair time to re-group and change tactics. The CI girls had lost their momentum and lost the second set and then match tie break, final score (6-1 3-6 0-1 (4)).
Overall match score was 5-1
Hertfordshire won the Group E tournament overall winning the play off against Avon. Despite the opposition being too strong for the Channel Island team who came 6th the girls showed commitment and fighting spirit in every match right to the final point. The girls tennis did improve over the three days coping increasingly better with their opponents power and consistency and they also improved on their tactical play in both singles and doubles. This meant it was a worthwhile trip for the girls. Officials and spectators commented on the team’s exemplary attitude and behaviour on and off court.
Team Captain - Karen Barnes